In addition to coaching sessions focused on negotiation skill building in financing and partnerships, law firm provides $5,000 toward future MassNextGen events
This past October, the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC) announced the 2020 winners for the MLSC’s Massachusetts Next Generation Initiative (MassNextGen), a competitive program to support women entrepreneurs in early-stage life sciences companies. Six companies received more than $85,400 in funding and access to a network of executive coaches for a year.As part of the access to the executive coaching network, MassNextGen Entrepreneurs take part in a series of coaching sessions focused on specific topic areas, ranging from best practices for pitching to an overview of the regulatory approval process. This program year, the general practice, full service law firm Mintz designed and executed two coaching sessions, providing an insightful overview of negotiation best practices.
”Mintz is proud to support the MassNexGen program,” stated Josh Fox, a Member in the Corporate and Life Sciences practices at Mintz. He continued: “We have been actively involved in the life sciences industry for decades, including by advising start-ups and entrepreneurs who are building biotech companies, so this program is a great fit for us. The attorneys at Mintz who provided their time and expertise to the women entrepreneurs in the program were happy to be able to contribute to the life sciences community through MassNexGen.”
The first coaching session brought a financing focus of commonly negotiated issues in financing term sheets for early-stage life science companies, as well as, insight into what to consider when receiving investment dollars. The second, centered on negotiating partnerships, offered an overview to entrepreneurs on protecting their company and ideas while still moving their mission and business goals forward through partnerships as an early-stage enterprise. In addition to the coaching sessions, Mintz provided $5,000 in additional funding toward future MassNextGen event opportunities.
“The coaching sessions provided by Mintz were absolutely essential,” said MassNextGen Entrepreneur Ida Pavlichenko, who serves as CEO, President, and Co-Founder of PionEar Technologies. “Speaking for myself and my fellow MassNextGen Entrepreneurs, the coaching and expanded networking opportunities provided by the MLSC and its partners are immeasurable in their benefits, allowing us to gain confidence as an entrepreneur and leader of a company.”
Launched in November 2017, MassNextGen aims to ensure greater gender parity in the next generation of life science entrepreneurs. The latest sponsor support from Mintz follows Johnson & Johnson Innovation supporting the 2020 round of the program by defining a “J&J Awardee”. With the help of Mintz and Johnson and Johnson Innovation, in addition to existing sponsors, Takeda, King Street Properties, and Sanofi, the amount of funding made available to awardees has increased each year, made possible by the addition of new corporate sponsors and support from the MLSC’s Board of Directors. Since inception, including this year’s awards, the MLSC has deployed more than $1 million in funding for women entrepreneurs through MassNextGen with an executive coaching network providing 200-plus hours of coaching.
More recently, MLSC Vice President of Industry Strategy and Investments Jennifer Griffin recently joined MassNextGen Entrepreneurs: PhagePro CEO and Co-Founder Min Min Yen; New Equilibrium Biosciences Co-Founder and CEO Virginia Burger; and Olaris, Inc. CEO and Founder Elizabeth O’Day for an insightful panel discussion, organized in partnership with the Boston University Office of Research.
Now with 16 companies in its portfolio, MassNextGen continues toward its goal of shifting the paradigm to build a diverse ecosystem with equal representation. As MassNextGen Entrepreneurs and their respective teams work toward new innovative therapeutics and products for patients, MLSC funding and executive coaching mentorship have proven invaluable for these women entrepreneurs in building their teams and progressing forward with new opportunities. First-year awardee Olaris closed its Series A funding round in September 2019, now employing a team of seven. Fellow first-year awardee, Reveal Pharmaceuticals received a Fast-Track Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award from the National Cancer Institute. Second-year awardee Envision Endoscopy completed critical prototyping, while also receiving SBIR funding. Additionally second-year awardees, PhagePro and LivOnyx, were able to make critical hires, while Lucy Therapeutics received a Golden Ticket at LabCentral and See Yourself Health has executed key partnerships putting them in a better position to add to customers and partners.